If you’re looking for a simple, delicious, and filling meal that can feed a hungry family, you can’t go wrong with Mary Berry’s tuna pasta bake recipe. This dish is one of the most popular recipes from the British TV chef and cookbook author, who is known for her easy and elegant dishes.
Tuna pasta bake is a classic comfort food that can be made with pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients. It’s creamy, cheesy, and packed with protein and carbs. You can customize it with your favorite vegetables, cheese, and herbs. It’s also a great way to use up leftover pasta or tuna.
In this article, I’ll show you how to make Mary Berry’s tuna pasta bake recipe step by step, with tips and tricks to make it perfect every time. You’ll also learn some variations and substitutions you can try to make it your own.
Let’s get started!
What is Mary Berry Tuna Pasta Bake?
Mary Berry Tuna Pasta Bake is a comforting, oven-baked casserole that combines the simple goodness of tuna, pasta, cheese, and a creamy sauce. Created by Mary Berry, a renowned British TV chef and cookbook author, this dish is known for its straightforward preparation and satisfying flavors. It features cooked pasta mixed with flaked tuna and sweetcorn, enveloped in a rich cheese sauce, and topped with a golden, bubbly cheese crust.
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Why You Love this Recipe
This recipe is cherished for several reasons:
- Family-Friendly: It’s a hit with both adults and children, making it perfect for family dinners.
- Easy to Make: Utilizes pantry staples for a hassle-free cooking experience.
- Customizable: Can be tailored with various vegetables, cheeses, and herbs.
- Nutritious: Offers a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates, and dairy.
- Versatility: Ideal for using up leftover pasta or tuna.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Tuna Pasta Bake
To make Mary Berry’s tuna pasta bake recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 400 g (14 oz) dried pasta shapes, such as penne, fusilli, or macaroni
- 50 g (2 oz) butter
- 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
- 600 ml (1 pint) milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 200 g (7 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 x 200 g (7 oz) cans of tuna in spring water, drained and flaked
- 198 g (7 oz) can of sweetcorn, drained
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 25 g (1 oz) parmesan cheese, grated
You’ll also need the following equipment to make this recipe:
- A large pot
- A colander
- A saucepan
- A whisk
- A measuring jug
- A measuring spoon
- A cheese grater
- A baking dish
- A spatula
- An oven
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Tuna Pasta Bake
Here are the step by step instructions to make Mary Berry’s tuna pasta bake recipe:
Step 1: Preheat the oven and grease the baking dish
Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas mark 6). Grease a baking dish with some butter or cooking spray. This will prevent the pasta from sticking to the dish and make it easier to serve.
Step 2: Cook the pasta
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, following the package directions, until al dente. This means the pasta should be cooked but still firm to the bite. Drain well and return to the pot. You can use any kind of pasta you like, but make sure to cook it al dente, as it will continue to cook in the oven and you don’t want it to be mushy.
Step 3: Make the cheese sauce
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, to make a roux. This is a thick paste that will help thicken the sauce. Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring well to avoid any lumps. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from the heat and set aside. You can also add some mustard, nutmeg, or garlic powder to the cheese sauce for more flavor.
Step 4: Add the tuna, sweetcorn, and parsley to the pasta
Add the tuna, sweetcorn, and parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. You can use canned tuna in spring water, oil, or brine, but make sure to drain and flake it well. You can also use canned salmon, chicken, or ham instead of tuna, or add some cooked bacon, mushrooms, broccoli, or peas to the pasta for extra flavor and texture.
Step 5: Transfer the pasta mixture to the baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over it
Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and make sure to cover it completely. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese and the parmesan cheese on top. You can use any kind of cheese you like, such as mozzarella, gruyere, or fontina, or a mix of different cheeses.
Step 6: Bake the tuna pasta bake
Bake the tuna pasta bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. You can check the doneness by inserting a knife or a fork into the center and seeing if it comes out clean and hot. If the cheese is browning too quickly, you can cover the dish with some foil.
Step 7: Enjoy your tuna pasta bake
Enjoy your tuna pasta bake hot, with a green salad or some crusty bread on the side. You can also garnish it with some more parsley or basil for a fresh touch. This dish can serve 4 to 6 people, depending on the appetite. You can store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just reheat it in the oven or the microwave before serving.
Mary Berry’s tuna pasta bake recipe is a simple and satisfying meal that can be made with pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients. It’s creamy, cheesy, and packed with protein and carbs. You can customize it with your favorite vegetables, cheese, and herbs. It’s also a great way to use up leftover pasta or tuna.
I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry’s tuna pasta bake recipe step by step. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you. Happy cooking!